One of the four Dimensions of Executive Thought involves the use of human resources. Executives should consider whether they have the right people doing the right things, whether those resources should be internal or external, and how technology and innovative thinking might support them.
People want to know where they are going and why, so in order to motivate people to accept and implement dramatic change, you need to personalize the changes. What do the changes mean for their work? Having a clear road map for the change is the first step.
At one client, when we started making innovative shifts in how materials were managed and delivered to the end user, we needed to get the support of a unionized workforce with strict work rules for warehouse and inventory practices. By involving the warehouse staff early in the process, painting a clear picture of where we were going (and more importantly, why), and taking the time to show the workers that no jobs would be lost and that their work would be much easier, they embraced the changes quickly and the company saved over $20 million and reduced inventory by 60%.
The project participants included suppliers, warehouse personnel, supply chain management, buyers, and inventory analysts. The dramatic change in the organization’s culture improved customer service and productivity, and created a happier work environment.
Sometimes, motivation and productivity improvement come from activities that would never have been accepted unless the changes are personalized. That creates an environment of partnerships and true win/win relationships.
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